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How to liven up work with children’s choirs

How fixed is the process of working with a choir? Regular rehearsals with regular singing exercises, performing fixed choir pieces from fixed scores? Or is there, aside with all this, undoubtedly valuable determination, another thrilling world of phantasy where the conductor can explore more wide range of musical material – layers of different historical epoques and styles, arousing the singers` interest towards the broader world of music, and constantly developing together with them? How can we combine improvisation with opening-up excercises, use singers' instrumental skills in refreshing choir arrangements, find new ideas for using historical and folk heritage in choir work? 

Could we improve  intonation and phrasing with the help of Gregorian neumes and solfegge system from the Middle Ages? Or on the contrary, use the modern world of internet? 

Can we get all there is to be found in music from the technical audio world or is there something unique about going to live concerts and sharing the impressions amongst our singers?

These are some of the questions I have been asking myself for the more than 25 years, that I have been working with boys`and girls`choirs of different ages. And I would like to take the audience along for a short playful search for the answers. 

Kadri Hunt (b 1964) is a choral conductor, singer, composer, arranger and music teacher. Since 1990 she works with St Michael’s Boys’ Choir, the repertory of which is focused on Gregorian chant, early music, folk hymns and folk songs.

Since 1999 she is also the chief conductor and director of Children’s Singing Studio of Estonian Radio. The studio presently consists of 3 choirs of different ages.

With her choirs Kadri Hunt has succesfully performed at several festivals and competitions in Estonia, France, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, UK, USA, and recorded 17 CDs with Estonian and Early music. 

Kadri Hunt has been an atelier leader in different Estonian Children’s Choirs’ Festivals, conducted joint choirs in several Estonian Song Celebrations and Church Song Festivals. In 2011 she was the leader of open singing in the 6th International Children and Youth Choirs Festival Europa Cantat Junior, in 2015 an atelier conductor in EUROPA CANTAT festival in Pecs, Hungary. 

Kadri Hunt has arranged and composed solo songs, as well as music for childrens`, female, male and mixed choirs. Her music has been performed at numerous Estonian Song Celebrations. 


She has made research on Estonian Sacred Hymns and gives lectures on this subject as well as performs those Hymns also with a group of jazz musicians Hüüd ja Hääl.


Kadri Hunt is also an active ensemble artist – since1997 she sings in sacred music ensemble Heinavanker, since 2001 in Gregorian chant ensemble Vox Clamantis, she has also performed with Jordi Savall in Capella Reial de Catalunya. As a vocalist she has recorded more than 20 Cds-s, released among others by labels as ICM, Harmonia Mundi, Mirare, Alba etc.

Bio en CAT

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